WrestleMania 29 is less than half a year away, believe it or not.
While some of us may still be reeling from what was undoubtedly a packed card at this year's WrestleMania, tickets for next year will be on sale Saturday, November 10 through Ticketmaster. WrestleManias used to sell out almost immediately when placed in normal arenas, but since WrestleMania 23, they have been held in stadiums, allowing many more people the chance to experience the biggest stage in all of wrestling.
I am very fortunate this coming year because MetLife Stadium is a 90-minute drive, but I know there are a lot of people who will be making their first trip to a WrestleMania this year, just like I did 10 years ago to Safeco Field in Seattle.
As it turns out, my first live WrestleMania was in a stadium, and I thought I would share the things you will want to know about a show in a stadium. It turns out there are some fundamental differences between seeing a show in an arena of nearly 10,000 and a stadium packed with what will likely be close to 90,000.
Consider this a guide, a FAQ and a piece of reading to add to your excitement for the equivalent of every conceivable holiday rolled into one for wrestling fans. Enjoy!
You might be intimidated when looking at the price range of $35-$850 and thinking, "Gee, I'm never going to be able to see the action unless I sell off a kidney and/or my first born child."
Don't worry. While nothing can replace the experience of being ringside for the show, your view in a stadium show is never obstructed. In fact, you may even be better off paying for a cheaper seat from the beginning and avoiding the people who will be doing nothing more than trying to get their sign on the TitanTron or TV cameras.
The entrance music is more than loud enough for you to hear when your favorite wrestler comes down the long ramp.
If you want to pick up a cheap pair of binoculars to make it feel like the action is closer, go for it. There will also be monitors at multiple locations just in case the guys in the ring spill outside and into the crowd.
If you would have told me that I would be preparing for the arrival of a hurricane in eastern Pennsylvania in October...well, I would have laughed at this time last year, and then we got hit with a freak snowstorm that cut electricity to a hell of a lot of people.
This year, the same thing happened with rain and wind instead of snow, proving once again that the NY/NJ area has some of the most unpredictable weather patterns in the United States.
WrestleMania 29 will be on April 7, just two weeks into spring. At that time of year, I have experienced everything from 75 degree days without a cloud in the sky to dreary days barely above freezing that have me checking my calendar and wondering if I got shoved into a DeLorean.
While I am certain that the canopy over the ring for WrestleMania 28 would have sufficed if rain broke out, it also never dips into shivering temperatures in Miami. The best thing you can do is pack along an umbrella or poncho as well as a hoodie or jacket—something to protect you against what could also turn out to be a windy night.
That said, this isn't Fairbanks, Alaska, so as long as you bring an extra layer just in case, you'll be set.
Here is an immediate tip for anyone looking to hang on to a bit of extra cash: unlike a lot of venues that hold wrestling events, MetLife Stadium allows you to bring your own food and drink into the stadium.
For those like me who try to adhere to healthy eating habits, this is welcome news.
Of course, this is WrestleMania weekend, and those who want to cheat on a diet (as well as those who don't care what they eat) simply need to remember that a staple of eating hot dogs and drinking beer at a football stadium carries a steep price tag.
Reviews on Yelp can give you a general idea of what you will be paying for food and drink, so depending on what your budget is, you can splurge on all the fatty goodness you want or completely bypass the system.
A huge, undeniable advantage of holding WrestleMania 29 in the NY/NJ area is the multitude of transportation options available. Many of you might simply opt to drive directly into MetLife Stadium's parking lot, in which case you would do well to look at the directions that show you where to go. Keep in mind that parking will cost you $25, and when the show is over, you will be sitting in the lot for quite a while until things get moving.
Depending on where and for how long you are staying in the area, you might want to look at public transportation to save you both time and money. NJTransit.com has all the information you need about getting to and from the stadium as well as the Izod Center for Raw the following Monday.
If you end up staying inside New York City, the subway can take you right to Penn Station, the single busiest train station in the United States and neighbor to Madison Square Garden, which will send you on your way to the stadium.
Even if you have been to a live wrestling show before, be it WWE or an independent promotion, WrestleMania is a completely different experience.
Despite the fact that it takes place in one section of one country, people from all over—not just the United States but the entire worl—will be coming together for this occasion, and I expect it to be one of the biggest international affairs ever in wrestling. With the combination of the seating capacity of the stadium and the central location of New York City, anyone who attends WrestleMania 29 will never forget it for the rest of their lives.
I hope you guys enjoyed my personal guide to experiencing WrestleMania inside a stadium. If you have any tips of your own to add from previous experience, please do so in the comments below!